With the drinks market overrun with beers and ciders, or beers making ciders, it can be tough to know what to pick when you’re facing a long day in the sunshine. I want to help ensure when you are standing in the bar next time, there is no panic buying pints of Strongbow.
The first decision you will need to make is whether or not you are hitting the fruit scene. Obviously traditional cider is made from the fermentation of apples, but nowadays there are all kinds of fruit cocktails served up. Kopparberg and Rekorderlig are well known to produce some of these with; strawberry and lime, mixed berry and even elderflower flavours. If it is something really sweet that you are after, opt for a Brothers Strawberry or Toffee – if you fancy a real sugar rush.
However if traditional is more to your taste, then I believe that Thatchers Gold is pretty damn good; the closest thing from a draught cider that actually tastes like it could be from Somerset. This is available in a wide range of pubs. Aspall’s Suffolk cider is also a strong contender with a clear colour and crisp flavour, it is refreshing, yet still manly enough to enjoy in the pub. If you are after a good list of Summer Lagers than have a look at Manning’s Tavern.
I am not quite sure how I feel about these beer-cider hybrids. It seems strange that someone would want to mix the two. I would either buy a cider or a beer. We have seen Stella Cidre become fairly successful and Carling have also just launched their new cider. Personally I am not convinced – but it would be interesting to hear what you have to say on these. I wonder how long it will be before fruity ciders start investing in fruit beers similar to that of Liefmans.